Parent Update 74 - 25.02.2021
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope you are all staying safe and well. It does look like there is some sign of normality returning in the future, but in the meantime we continue to follow the advice given to keep us all safe.
Yet again the Government have made it clear that all children should return to school on Monday 8th March, with the exception being those who remain under the care of a specialist health professional. If this applies to your child you will need to discuss your child’s care with the health professional before returning to school.
As promised in my update earlier this week, here are the arrangements for returning to school:
When we welcomed children back in the autumn term we had robust plans in place, fortunately not many of these plans need to be changed following the latest guidance.
Our ‘school families’ will again be based on year groups, as this will allow children from each class, within a year group, to receive interventions and share events. However, for most of the time they will all be in their own classroom.
For children in our Resourced Provision, they will be in their own RP class full time, as they will be mixing with other RP children on transport so it would not be sensible to then send them all to a different mainstream class. This means Hedgehog class at the infants, and Mrs Clift’s class at the juniors, will remain in their RP class all day but will still cover the work their year group are covering.
Arrival and Collection
We will continue to use an ‘arrival window’ for all, rather than staggered start times. The window of arrival will be 8.40-9.10 for all children, so you can bring your children at any point during this time.
- Nursery collection: 3.15-3.30
- Infant collection: 3-3.15
- Junior collection: 3-3.20 (if children have not been collected by 3.20 they will be allowed to go home at 3.20 as usual)
Children will enter and leave school through their classroom external door with the exception of years 4 and 6. Year 4 will use the external door opposite the staffroom and Year 6 will use the playground door.
Please note that only one adult should bring/collect your child/children to and from school.
Please keep your children close beside you at all times so that they are not mixing with other children. It defeats the object of us keeping them separate in school if they then mix together on the way home!
Be aware of others on the paths, giving space where necessary, to allow people to pass each other safely.
Parents should observe social distancing from other adults and children at all times and should not gather together either inside or immediately outside of the school grounds as this is not allowed. I know this will be difficult when some of you haven’t met up for some time, but the more people who meet together, the higher the risk of any transmission.
Should adults not adhere to these requirements then it will be necessary for me to introduce different arrangements, which may cause families more inconvenience, the very thing I am trying to avoid.
Breakfast club will run from 8.30-9.00 exactly as it does now but children must arrive before 8.40 to get their order in and give them time to eat before lessons start at 9. Children will go to their own classroom, orders taken and then food delivered. Breakfast can only be provided for vulnerable and key worker children. Only children who are entitled to have breakfast will be allowed into class before 8.40.
There will not be any group assemblies but each class will provide an assembly each day.
Friday assembly will be held 2.45-2.55 where each class teacher will award the usual certificates in their own room. Mrs Waters and Mrs Turnnidge will then arrive with birthday cards/ attendance award etc. if there are any for that class.
Playtimes will be staggered and children will play in their ‘school family’ in a designated area.
- Year 1: 10.15-10.30
- Year 2: 10.35-10.50
- Lower school: 10.20-10.35
- Upper school: 10.40-10.55
There will not be a tuck shop at the junior school – children need to bring a healthy snack such as a piece of fruit but definitely no sweets.
Lunchtime will also be staggered and children will eat in their own classrooms. They will then have some time to play with their class in their designated area.
- Nursery and year R will eat in the hall from 11.45.
- Year 1 will eat in their classrooms from 12-12.30; play 12.30-1.
- Year 2 will play 12-12.30; eat in their classrooms from 12.30-1.
- Year 3 & 4 will eat in their classrooms from 12-12.30; play 12.30-1.
- Years 5 & 6 will play 12-12.30; eat in their classrooms from 12.30-1.
Children will be washing their hands frequently, especially before eating. Gel will also be provided. All tables will be cleaned before and after eating too. The children are in good habits with their hand washing routines now and these will continue.
If you pay for lunches, please can you pay on-line so as to reduce the need to handle money in the office. Should you need to know how to pay on line, please call the junior school office and they will be able to help you.
The recent Government guidance does not expect that each ‘school family’ has their own toilet facilities but we do have enough facilities to be able to allocate dedicated toilets for each class at both schools. This will further reduce the likelihood of any virus transmission as children are not mixing with other ‘school families’ when they visit the toilet.
Please reinforce with your child the importance of washing their hands thoroughly after going to the toilet.
In line with Government guidance all tables must be facing front with children sitting side by side and a space between tables.
Each child will have their own pencil case and equipment.
Adults, when supporting a child, will stand alongside them, not face to face and spend only a short while within 1 metre of them.
When coming in from lunch/play, children who sit furthest from the door will go into class first so that they do not have to pass other children to get to their seat.
Handwashing on arrival at school is essential and children should wash their hands before they leave home and when they arrive home.
Good respiratory hygiene will be taught: Coughs and sneezes must be covered, then hands washed and surfaces wiped.
‘The ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach continues to be very important and should be reinforced at home.
As is the case currently, only one household will be allowed in the office area at any one time as there is not enough room to socially distance. If there is someone already in the reception area, please wait outside until it is free, giving plenty of space for them to leave first before you enter the building.
Meetings with Staff
At the moment, if you have anything you need to speak to a member of staff about, it would be best to contact them by phone. Please do not arrive at the school and expect to speak to a member of staff in person, as this is not recommended, as specific arrangements will need to be made before a meeting can take place. If you want to meet with me, then please ring school and arrange an appointment. Unfortunately this goes against our current open door policy. As many of you will know, you have just been able to turn up and I will see you then and there. The current restrictions do not allow this to happen.
What to do if your child is unwell
If your child is unwell you should keep them at home as you would usually do. If they, or any of your household, display Covid like symptoms they must not come to school and you must arrange for them to be tested and remain in isolation until the results are returned. If the result is positive see guidance below.
If there was a suspected case of coronavirus
If a child showed symptoms, they would be taken to a room which can be closed off, windows opened and the child supervised from a social distance with staff wearing PPE. The whole room would then be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected afterwards. The expectation is that the child and their household will isolate and book for a test to be taken. The Government have made it clear that parents are expected to engage in this process and with the Test and Trace process should the test come back positive and the child should isolate for 10 days from the day after the onset of symptoms. Obviously this is an essential way of keeping cases down. If the test comes back as positive the whole household have to continue to isolate for 10 days to allow time for any symptoms to develop.
In school we would ask PHE (Public Health England) for advice as to what was required. It may be just that child’s ‘school family’ which needs to be sent home to isolate or it could be just their class, in extreme cases it could be the whole school. Obviously we want to keep this to a minimum which is why we are trying to keep children in their classes as much as possible to reduce the likelihood of large numbers of children having to isolate.
School libraries will not be used for changing books as this could increase transmission. However, ‘class’ libraries are now in place.
ELSA support will continue to be provided but not in large groups. Where possible ELSAs will work outside in our various outside areas, or in larger spaces. They will only work 1:1 in their own rooms if they are socially distanced and with windows open for good ventilation.
Children do not need to bring in large bags. We do not have the space to store them and again they could be transmitting the virus. Please only bring in books bags when necessary and lunchboxes. This is one reason why the children are coming in dressed for PE to avoid extra bags being brought into school.
Parking and Permits
Thank you. There has been a reduction in the number of people driving onto the school site. If you need a permit please contact the infant office.
Obviously I want all of our school community to remain safe and well and I ask that we all continue to work together to make that happen by supporting the school with these measures and playing your part in keeping us all safe. Again, should you wish to discuss anything further then do not hesitate to give me a call.
However, I do understand that some of you may well be anxious about your child returning to school and I hope that all of the measures we have in place, to reduce risk, will reassure you. If you still feel anxious and would like to speak to me about your concerns then please phone me. The government state that where schools implement the system of controls outlined in their guidance it creates an inherently safer environment for children and staff where the risk of transmission is substantially reduced. I can assure you that the guidelines have been followed and in some situations we have been able to take more actions than required e.g. toileting arrangements, as we have the capacity to do so. To date, this has worked most successfully.
Finally, I look forward to welcoming you all back on Monday 8th March, I will be out and about if you have any queries (socially distanced of course).
Keep socially distancing and washing your hands!
Stay safe. Play your part and stay apart!
With my very best wishes,
Mrs Sheila Pape